Phew!

Oct 23

Late this afternoon, I got a call from one of my favorite oncology nurses.  She has spent at least as many hours as I have (if not more) trying to find some avenue to get me Ibrance over the past few weeks.  “Jen Anderson,” she said.  “Do you know you have good news?”

“No,” I said, as I stood in my bedroom, mid-laundry-folding enterprise, and raised a celebratory fist in the air, not yet sure what I am celebrating.  “I do NOT know I have good news.  Tell me, tell me, tell me!”

“Pfizer has approved your case; you are being granted the use of Ibrance at least until the end of the year, and maybe part of next year as well!”

I did a little jig in my bedroom.  This is such great news.  I, as a part-time stay-at-home-mom and part-time cancer patient, feel like I just got a $120,000/year raise.  It is such a relief that I don’t have to burden our household with a $10,000/month cost for a drug.  Pause for a moment and imagine that yourself: you’re asked to absorb a $10,000/month bill into your household.  Then imagine the relief that comes with the not.

Do you want to sink to the floor and cry with relief?  Because I do.

I called my little sister first because she’s off in the Caribbean, working on a cruise ship, and about to be out of cell phone range.  She burst into tears, the happy kind.  In my circumstances, I have to make terrible phone calls a lot (cancer progression), so it is exceptionally wonderful to get to make a phone call that causes someone to cry happy tears.  Thank you, Baby Sister.  And, thank you Pfizer.

Let’s talk about Pfizer for a moment, because they are the hero of the day.  Years ago, this mega-corporation invested resources in coming up with a new cancer drug for my population (the metastatic population — the ones who are technically not curable), which is a wonderful thing all by itself.  Now, they have also granted me free compassionate use of Ibrance: it’s not FDA approved for my exact type of cancer, but it is Dr. Wonderful’s best recommendation for what I should be on.  Thank you Pfizer, for looking beyond the paper, beyond the label, beyond the diagnosis, and seeing the person.  You made a difference today.

I’m not exactly sure why Pfizer granted me use of their drug: it may have been the legitimate merit of my appeal per their standards.  It may have been the compassionate whim of the “supervisor” who was the recipient of my appeal.  It may have been that my name was coming up in many conference rooms around the country in the past week because of the people who know me and who have connections at Pfizer leveraged their personal relationships to try to influence my situation.  Those folks really made the wait (and the weight) so much more tolerable because I felt it wasn’t all up to me.  Putting faith in people is so much easier that putting faith in paper.  Thank you.

I know I am resting a bit easier knowing that my cancer isn’t further damaging my family’s situation.  I’m so grateful, I’m so relieved.  I often feel like a burden.  Therefore it’s so nice to have this huge burden removed.

I’m also tired.  Today I went to do the laundry and realized the that girls’ clean laundry from two weeks ago was sitting in the bottom of their laundry bins, under the dirty laundry from last week.  Go me.  Obviously, I am killing it as a homemaker as this scenario pretty much sums up every room in my house right now.  I also coached Maren’s volleyball game tonight, and — while I think I’m a good coach — I have to have the losing-est record in the history of elementary volleyball programs.  Every season I have the capacity to coach and make significant contribution, my team is destined to get a lot better, learn a lot about the game, demonstrate exceptional sportsmanship, and still lose all the games.  Sorry, folks.  We also came off a busy weekend where we were on-the-go a lot: having fun, pursuing our passions, doing things that matter.  I will say it’s refreshing to be the good kind of tired.  Not lethargic from poor blood chemistry, not nauseous from chemo, not tired from simple movements; rather, tired from a genuinely busy day.  Praise the Lord for being normal-tired.  It’s funny what I find myself being grateful for…

I am so glad I don’t have to spend more time doing paperwork.  I was seriously thinking I was going to have to buy either a scanner or a fax machine (or both) due to the amount of paperwork that was moving around.

Tonight I feel free, and that is a great feeling.  Thank you for praying for me and sending all the positive juju.  Praise the Lord, thank you Pfizer, and — lets all say it together — phew!

 

 

63 comments

  1. SO HAPPY! Have been praying LOTS and am thankful with you for this YES.

  2. Patty Wheeler /

    OMG awesome news. So happy!

  3. Shannon L Weiss /

    This is absolutely wonderful news!! Xo

  4. Grateful. Just so darn glad. Blessings.

  5. 🎉🎉🎉

  6. Phew indeed! Fist pumps from stranger friends in the PNW!

  7. Ginger /

    Yay🎉❤️

  8. Praise the Lord!

  9. Kim Rourke /

    We are all crying tears of joy! I thanked God for this decision then had to ask him to forgive my rants against Pfizer and the health care world in general that have occurred over the last few days. I need your grace.😇

    Fist pumps and hallelujahs!

  10. Best news of the day!!!!! Woohoooooooooooooo!! Fist pumping and raising the roof over here too!! ❤️❤️❤️

  11. Phew! Awesome news!!! What an answer to prayer!!! ♡

  12. Great, awesome, WONDERFUL news!!! Sending hugs and cheers from Cleveland!! Xoxo

  13. Phew! Awesome news!!! What an answer to prayer!!! ♡

  14. Praise the LORD! What wonderful news tonight!

  15. YAY 🎉🎉🎉! Prayers were answered!

  16. Allanah Powell /

    OMgosh Jen I am also crying happy tears. What a relief to you and Brad and of course our gorgeous girls. You can now return to focusing your energy on getting well and not having to bother with unnecessary paper work.

    Love you lots Lani xx

  17. Wonderful News! I can imagine the relief. You and your family are in my prayers!

  18. Oh Happy Day & Phew, Phew, Phew!!!

  19. Mark Powell /

    fantastic news

  20. Eloise /

    This is brilliant, just brilliant. Happy dancing around work right now xx

  21. Michelle Clapsaddle /

    Happy dance!

  22. Hurrrrayyyy!!!

  23. Newbie Friend /

    Oh what a relief! Great news Jen, I am so happy for you!

  24. Lisa Smith /

    Praise God! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! 🙌🏻🎉🎊💃🏽😍😭🙏🏻

  25. Nancy zwolinski /

    Amen. Thanking God with you and for you.😙

  26. Donna Meade /

    Such wonderful news Jen!!

  27. Chelsea Carpenter /

    This just made my day!!!! So happy for you!

  28. Rebecca /

    Beautiful news!

  29. Marlayne Skeens /

    Good Morning Jen ~

    PHEW ~ I’ll Never be tired of Happy Dancing 💃 or Praising GOD for this Amazing News ~ Everyone You know that has heard the Good News is Thankful to GOD ✝️, Smiling 😊, Crying Happy Tears 😃, Dancing 💃 & Saying ” Pfizer ” You Did Today Well❣️

  30. Diana Gibson /

    PHEW
    fjuː,fjʊ
    exclamation informal
    EXPRESSING A STRONG REACTION OF RELIEF, or of disgust at a smell)
    “phew, what a year!”

    So let’s just use one of the PHEW dictionary meanings:

    Phew, what good news
    Phew, that the Anderson budget does not need to be stretched to infinity
    Phew, that Pfzier corporation has found a great big heart
    Phew, that Jen and Brad can now spend precious time on better times, thoughts and things
    Phew, sometimes life is just so good you want to laugh, cry, dance, sing
    Phew, you are a star Jen

  31. Lisa Marker-Robbins /

    Happy dance for YOU and your fam!!! YAY God – thankful!

  32. Christin /

    Ah! That brought tears to my eyes, too! I love all the reasons this may have come about… especially imagining all the individuals in Pfizer leveraging their personal relationships for you!! Well, and obviously your amazing nurse! You are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

  33. Emily Smith /

    YES!!!!!!
    Praise the Lord!!!!!!
    We have been praying. He is hearing our prayers! What wonderful news.
    We will continue to pray for this drug to be approved forever for you. Xoxo.

  34. Awesome, awesome news!!

  35. Praising God for answering these many prayers!

  36. Genora /

    Jen, I’m so happy to hear about your great news,Great is thy faithfulness O God! God is real and greatly to be praised! We thank God for hearing and answered prayers, Lord Jesus, we love you! So happy for your blessing Jen, keep the faith! We love you, God loves you more.

  37. Angela /

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    Praises and hugs from Michigan!

  38. Praise the Lord oh my soul!!!! ❤️

  39. Kudos for good news. And yes, I would sink to the floor with relief! Go Jen go!

  40. Sherry Stoffer /

    Thank God for his blessings!!!! That is such great news!!!!

  41. Happy dance…Love when you get amazing news like this. Love you!

  42. Heather /

    Wow!!!! This is so wonderful to hear today!!!! Breathe easy for a little while and let your mind only focus on joy….family, friends & love!

  43. Susan Taylor /

    I am so happy for you, Jen. Your tenacity and humility are beautiful. Phew! Will be tweeting thanks to Pfizer (without personal info or your name of course). I can feel your relief!

  44. Kristin Russo /

    hApPy DaNcE!!!! yEaH!!!

  45. So glad for the update. Praying for you and your fam !
    Kay

  46. Stephanie /

    Praise, Jen, praise. xo

  47. Aunt annie /

    God is Good! Pfizer is good! Life is good! So relieved ! You amaze me with your strength! Blessings to you Jen!

  48. YEAHHHHHH!! I pray that you continue to be exceptional at all that you touch 🙂 You were an exceptional friend for making to Samir’s party. You and Brad are truly fabulous inside and out.

  49. Oh what great news!! For being “normal tired” annnnd for Pfzier’s decision! Thanks for sharing! Doing a happy dance in carpool line and thanking God for this blessing!!

  50. Kathleen /

    Hooray Jen!! We are all doing the happy dance and sharing in your joy! 💕

  51. Thank God, prayers are answered. So happy for you, such a relief.

  52. 50 years!

  53. Kelly Burns /

    What wonderful news!! So happy to hear this, Jen!! ❤️

  54. Denise /

    Oh wow we have been holding our breath and praying and sending out as much good love to the world of decision makers.
    We are so thrilled the Pfizer have found the beauty in you.
    Love Neecie and Leo.

  55. Amyrhoo /

    Yay!

  56. Praise the Lord! So glad to hear this!!!!

  57. Catherine Butterworth /

    YEAH! Happy Dance time!

  58. Kathleen Roth /

    Thank You Jesus! Thank you Pfizer. Drafted my letter many times in my mind
    And thought I was going to have to get my ” listen here” on
    I am thankful I did not have to ( and they should be as well😂)
    Prayers continue!!

    Hugs.
    Kathi

  59. PHEW!!!! Thank God, sweet Jesus! AMEN!!

  60. Rebecca /

    Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Patient first is Pfizer’s motto…so glad they are living it!

  61. Cindy Mitchell /

    PHEW… and AMEN … I was sharing your story with my sister as I was reading this blog.. She said “She is a FIGHTER”. Jen you are the Biggest Fighter I know.. I am so happy and proud to hear things are looking up.. Prayers and keep on hanging..Hugs to you

  62. Jennifer /

    Such heart-swelling, fist-pumping, wonderful news. You have such tenacity, such grit, such grace in how you are doing this journey. So inspiring to witness. All my best and most encouraging wishes to you and yours.

  63. I’m so happy and relieved for you. And also so glad that you are enjoying some chemo-side-effects-free time. Isn’t it amazing what you can get used to?

    The power of prayer and community is fierce. Rejoicing with you and your family!!